Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty and Sentenced for Sending Threatening Messages to Boston-Area College Student

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BOSTON – A Minnesota man pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in federal court Boston for sending threatening emails to a Boston-area college student.

Eric Bolduan, 47, of Rochester, Minn., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The defendant was ordered to stay away from, and have no contact with, the Massachusetts victim. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim. Earlier in the hearing, Bolduan pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure another person. Bolduan was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2021.

Bolduan downloaded images of a female student attending Boston College from her social media pages and from other publicly available sites. Bolduan then located a pornographic image of a different female with a similar appearance and posted the images of the victim alongside the pornographic image to various pornographic websites in order to make it appear that the victim was involved in pornography. Thereafter, Bolduan sent threatening and harassing emails to the victim. For example, on May 5, 2016, Bolduan sent an email to the victim that included the following language:

I noticed the attached photo of you online and wanted to follow up with you. I’m going to find you this summer.  Once I’ve got you I will have my way with your body for several days, until I finally tire of you.  You will experience things that will give you nightmares for the rest of your life.  I want to look into your eyes as you experience pain at levels you never imagined were possible.  By the time I’m done with you your body will be shattered and broken.  I promise that you’ll never be the same again.

Bolduan attached a screenshot of a pornographic webpage depicting the legitimate, non-pornographic images of the victim alongside a pornographic image of a female who resembled the victim, to the email. Later that day, Bolduan sent a mass email to multiple Boston College email addresses. In the email, Bolduan listed the victim by name and attached the screenshot of the pornographic website he had emailed to the victim. Five days later, on May 10, 2016, Bolduan sent a second threatening email to the victim at her college email address.

To avoid detection, Bolduan sent the emails to the victim using an email account that was not in his true name and to further avoid detective he utilized a software that directs internet traffic through thousands of relays in order to anonymize users. 

On June 7, 2017, during a search of his residence, Bolduan admitted to harassing and threatening the victim and admitted to sending the May 5, 2016 email with attached photographs to the victim.

Members of the public who have victim assistance questions or information regarding this case should email USAMA.victimassistance@usdoj.gov.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Boston College Chief of Police William B. Evans made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.